We’re getting close to that point in the summer where teams front offices turn off the lights and head out to the cabin or the golf course for the summer which means the rumour mill is slowly dying down. Still, there are some noteworthy rumours floating around the world of hockey and a few of them pertain to the Oilers.
THE RETURN OF THE BIG RIG?
Mark Spector got a lot of Oilers fans excited when he mentioned the possibility of the team getting back together with power forward @Patrick Maroon.
Edmonton looking into returning Pat Maroon to the fold. Oilers among a few teams pitching for the big LW.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) July 1, 2019
Maroon camp shutting it down for the night, will regroup tmw. Oilers among teams still talking. EDM set on more lineup changes. They are well aware of how much improvement they need, primarily among fwds.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) July 2, 2019
Things seem to have cooled off a bit on the Maroon front and our very own Jason Gregor said on his show the other day that he’s been hearing a return to Edmonton is unlikely.
Honestly, unless there is a Milan Lucic deal about to be made, and I doubt there is, I just couldn’t get on board with bringing back Maroon. While Maroon has proven he can score, the Oilers have enough big bodies that don’t move well. I would rather see them save their money and get someone with a little bit more speed.
It’s also tough to gauge how much Maroon could get. I think he might fetch around $2.5 million if he signs in the next week or so and I think that’s a little too rich for the Oilers.
OTHER HIGH-END FREE AGENTS
@Ryan Dzingel is a player that I think would be a really good fit here in Edmonton. He moves well and he’s a proven goal scorer. Even though he hasn’t been signed yet, I don’t see a scenario where he signs for under $4.5 million and that simply puts him out of the Oilers price range.
Jake Gardiner will no doubt be looking for a new home after the Leafs acquired Tyson Barrie. While the Oilers obviously won’t be in on the top-four defenseman, I did think he might end up in the Pacific Division but the Vancouver Canucks decided to pay Tyler Myers a boatload of money instead.
Michael Russo of The Athletic had an interesting tweet the other day.
Nothing yet to report on free agent Jake Gardiner. Highly-skilled #mapleleafs defenseman has multiple options, but term seems to be biggest issue coming off a back injury that has actually healed quite nicely since the season
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 1, 2019
If that’s what’s scaring teams off, I do wonder how much it could affect Gardiner’s asking price. I feel like he’s worth at least what @Tyler Myers got from Vancouver, but he might be forced to settle for an AAV closer to $5 million.
There are a few candidates available on the free agent market that appear to be good fits for the Oilers considering the fact that they’re lacking a third line centre, but I don’t think that’s where Ken Holland is going to spend the rest of his cap space. I would love to see the team add one of Brian Boyle or Derick Brassard, but they’ll likely come in around $2 million and that would leave the Oilers with essentially no money to add a top six winger.
I believe the third line centre spot will simply go to one of @Jujhar Khaira, @Gaetan Haas, @Markus Granlund, or @Sam Gagner. Those aren’t names that inspire a lot of confidence, but it’s what the Oilers will have to run with. If there is another addition, I expect it will be a player on a PTO or someone who will make under $1 million.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF NIKITA GUSEV
I’ve had lots of Oilers fans asking me about @Nikita Gusev. The 26-year-old winger has ripped apart the KHL over the last few seasons and now, he’s ready to make the jump over to the NHL.
The Vegas Golden Knights would love to keep him around, but they simply can’t afford it and I don’t think the Oilers would be able to either. I heard Darren Dreger mention the other day that the Gusev camp is asking for something close to $5 million a season on his next deal and that puts him well out of the Oilers price range.
He would be a great addition to the Oilers top six, I have confidence that he’ll be a good, top-six winger, and Edmonton has some young, cheap pieces that I would imagine Vegas would have an interest in. It’s an interesting idea but at the end of the day, I just don’t see the Oilers opening up enough cap space to acquire a player like Gusev and if they did have that kind of money, wouldn’t it be better to go after a more proven commodity like Ryan Dzingel?
Christian Pagnani wrote a great piece earlier today about some free agency leftovers and Dustin Nielson talked on his show about some players that could be a fit for the Oilers at a lower cap hit. He named Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard, Nick Cousins, Oscar Lindberg, and Riley Sheahan.
While names like Ferland or Dzingel would provide the top six with proven scoring, I believe they’re out of the Oilers price range and on top of that, I think Ken Holland will go the trade route to get his hands on a top-six forward.
If the Oilers make an addition, I expect it to be a player on a PTO or a player making under $1 million. That probably eliminated Derick Brassard and Brian Boyle as well, but I am intrigued by the possibility of signing one of Nick Cousins or Oscar Lindberg. Those seem like players who could give the Oilers solid third line minutes and score some goals in the process. Riley Sheahan would cost more than $1 million, but given his history with Ken Holland, it’s certainly a possibility and I wouldn’t scoff at bringing him in for around $1.5 million.
THIRD ANNUAL OILERSNATION OPEN
After having such a blast over the past two years, we absolutely knew that we were going to organize another golf tourney for the summer and, after a few months of planning, we’re psyched to finally be able to launch our third annual golf tournament.
- When – August 29th, 2019 (Thursday)
- Where – Cougar Creek Golf Resort
- How much – $1000/team or get in on the $900 Early Bird price until July 10th
- Teams – Groups of Four (4)
- How – Book your team here
As always, a portion of all proceeds from your ticket purchase will be donated directly to a local charity. This time we’ve partnered up with the Gregor Foundation to make sure that our kids are at their most handsome.